Kamakura Travel Guide For Japan Visitors

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Kamakura Trip Home > Kamakura Museum of Literature

Western style villa and rose garden of the former marquis of the Maeda clan

Representative prewar western architecture of Kamakura

Representative prewar western architecture of Kamakura

After exiting Yuigahama station on the Enoshima Electric Railway, go right (towards the mountains). Cross the street at the crosswalk at the "Museum of Literature Ent.(文学館入口)" intersection and go straight through the residential area, and walk up the small hill until you see the western-style building with a blue roof. This building was built as a vacation house for the Maeda clan, the founder of the Kaga Domain, and was also lent to the minister of Denmark after the war. From Showa 39 (1964), former Prime Minister Eisaku Sato used it as a vacation house, and he visited every weekend until he passed away.  It was donated in Showa 58 (1983) to Kamakura city.  It was reconstructed in Showa 60 (1985) and opened to the public as the Kamakura Museum of Literature. Presently, it exhibits literary works, manuscripts, and items of the writers who lived in Kamakura and great writers who were in some way connected with Kamakura.

The rose garden

The rose garden

There is a 6,500 square foot rose garden on the properties, and over 200 bushes in a variety of colors, shapes, and size, including species imported from 7 different countries such as the US and Holland. There are even roses named after Kamakura and events which happen here, such as “Kamakura”, “Shizuka-no-Mai”, “Yabusame”, and “Hoshizukiyo”.

The roses bloom twice a year in spring and fall.  In spring, the roses are in full bloom from mid-May to the end of June. There is a rose festival held in May, during which there is a concert in the garden. The best time to go see the roses in fall is from mid-October to the end of November. It is a place that has kept the same appearance and exotic atmosphere of vacation homes of Kamakura since the Meiji era.

The view from the lounge

The view from the lounge

Back when the building was a vacation home, the current lounge used to be a bedroom. The view from the room is so gorgeous; you can almost hear the sound of the ocean. The defining geographical surroundings of Kamakura Bungakukan, the ocean in the south and the mountains in all other directions, echo the city of Kamakura itself.

Information

Address: 1-5-3 Hase, Kamakura City
Phone: 0467-23-3911
Access:  7-minute walk from Yuigahama station on the Enoshima Electric Railway
Map: Traffic Information
Official Website: Kamakura Museum of Literature

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